In Cyprus, where I live, when men want to feel “safe” and “powerful”, we simply wait for the streets to clear of all female elements and hang our members out the window until a “challenger” appears.
You're a 60-year-old vet and and you left your wife and a solid pension ten years ago because the ghosts in your head wouldn't let you be. Life's simpler when you forget. Work, beer, whisky, sleep.
Until you end up at the wrong bar on the wrong night and everything you've been running from blindsides you like a Greyhound running a red at seventy miles an hour. The next thing you know you're in a cheap motel room off the Interstate with two grade-A psychopaths using a knife you swore you'd never touch again.
The Herat Handshake is live in Switchblade Magazine Issue 4. 14 raw stories, plenty of bad juju.
Coming soon in Switchblade #4.
If Christmas came and went and you weren't sure you wanted to read about a teenage character obsessed by roadkill—or send a book about a teenage character obsessed by roadkill to your loved ones—you can get a taste of Dillo in OWK zine Volume 7, where they just adore roadkill and all sorts of over-the-top violence.
You can also wait for the print version of Volume 7, which will be available at all fine purveyors of literature in Nicosia, i.e. Prozak Kafeneio, in a few days.
Dillo slides onto your bookshelf bloody.
It's not the blood dripping from that supremely pulpy sawed-off finger by Rock the Dog. It's just that Dillo was kicked around awhile before it found its home at Shotgun Honey, now an imprint of Down and Out Books. And, sure, its author has gone along for the ride.
But it got there and for that I have to thank Ron Earl Phillips at Shotgun Honey for deciding to publish it with Eric Campbell and Lance Wright at Down and Out. Rock the Dog spent the hottest days of the summer of 2017 working over, I believe, 17 versions of the cover. The work paid off. No matter what you think of the book, the cover will be stuck to the inside of your brainpan until someone scrapes it off with a blowtorch.
I'd like to thank Andy Rogers and Deb Hull, who have been reading my stuff before I was reading my stuff. Seven years ago Andy—then the fiction editor of the Chattahoochee Review—sent me a really nice email out of the blue about a story I'd submitted. The story ultimately got rejected, but Andy's encouragement has kept this boat afloat since then. We've even worked together on a script for an absurdist Wall Street shark thriller called Pipe Sharks.
I'd like to thank Nat Sobel for his generous advice at the beginning of my crime rampage. It helped get Dillo in the shape it is in now. Todd Robinson at Thuglit helped me early on by publishing two of my first psychopath stories. Tom Pitts has been unbelievably generous since I sent my first piece of flash fiction to Out of the Gutter in 2014, and he's one of my favorite crime writers. If you haven't read Hustle, you need to.
I'd like to thank Jack Getze for his thoughtful words on Dillo and for his advice on writing. That advice is now taped to the wall of my office. I was lucky enough to have Alec Cizak and Joshua Corin, two more writers I admire, read the MS and write blurbs.
Evan Lambert has read the early drafts of every book I've ever written, and for that I owe him many beers I can't buy him, being an ocean and a sea away.
Finally, I'd like to thank my wife, Theopisti, for putting up with me since Austin and through all our adventures since.